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June 5, 2007 1:33 PM   Subscribe

What sort of paperwork/license/whatever do you need to transport prescription drugs internationally?

In 3 weeks I'll be in Central Asia doing some consulting with humanitarian aid agencies. One of the groups has requested a long list of prescription drugs to be used in their clinics, but before I even bother trying to see if I can find health agencies willing to donate the needed medicines, I wanted to find out the technicalities of moving medicine/drugs internationally.

Anyone out there have any insight on the matter? Pharmacists/Doctors/etc?

posted by quadrinary to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It will obviously differ depending on the laws of the particular country. Try the consulates for each country.
posted by JJ86 at 2:06 PM on June 5, 2007

Response by poster: I'm curious from the standpoint of how the US views taking so much with me, etc. I would be getting letters from any donors explaining they're for medical use in xyz country etc.
posted by quadrinary at 2:42 PM on June 5, 2007

contact the customs bureau. you might need some kind of form if it's valued above a certain amount.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:19 PM on June 5, 2007

My mother works for the Belgian embassy, and has fielded this question in a variety of contexts. You'll need to talk to the embassy of the target country in the U.S. (usually DC). The country you leave from will generally not be as concerned, but call customs ahead of time.
posted by phrontist at 5:10 PM on June 5, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers folks, I'll be contacting the embassies for the final destination as well as stops along the way - I might need this stuff to be kept at the airport for me during layovers, etc (I've had to do that sort of thing for other things being transported in the past)
posted by quadrinary at 5:26 AM on June 6, 2007

It will vary on whether the drug is licensed and registered in your Central Asian destination. If not, there will be a probably innavigable amount of red tape. So you probably can't bring any new-fangled antiretrovirals, for example. If the drug is registered, it should not be as difficult, although this will be influenced by quantity, potential for illicit uses, etc.

How are you procuring/paying for these US drugs?

Three weeks is not a lot of time, especially when dealing with international customs, so you should probably get moving on this asap.
posted by bluenausea at 7:19 AM on June 6, 2007

I've never seen the U.S. care what I took out of the country for any reason--they only care what you bring in. When you travel from here to another country, you go through their customs/immigration, not U. S. Customs. Like JJ86 said, contact a consulate for that country to find out the laws on bringing things in to it.
posted by Cricket at 1:01 PM on June 6, 2007

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